Emily Kirkpatrick

Emily Kirkpatrick

Emily is Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of English

Brief Biography

Emily Kirkpatrick is an experienced senior executive with deep expertise in organizational strategy, programmatic innovation, external communications, and fundraising in the education and nonprofit space.

A transformative leader, Ms. Kirkpatrick has dedicated her career to public service and civic engagement, seeking to increase national literacy and social mobility, amplify educator voices, and advance the inclusion and empowerment of women.

She has led and managed the establishment of public-private partnerships and created technology-based learning platforms that have helped hundreds of thousands of students improve their language skills and knowledge, broaden their horizons, and increase their opportunities.

Ms. Kirkpatrick assumed her position as the Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in November 2015. In this role, she oversees the professional home for English language arts teachers from preK through university and amplifies the voices of educators through connection, collaborations, and a shared mission to improve the teaching and learning of English.

Ms. Kirkpatrick works with her team to ensure that NCTE—the oldest and one of the largest literacy and education organizations in the United States—remains at the forefront of the key issues that are important to teachers’ and students’ rights and removes the barriers to inclusion and success.

Prior to NCTE, Ms. Kirkpatrick served in leadership roles at the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), an organization dedicated to eradicating poverty through education solutions for families. At the culmination of her 17-year career there, Ms. Kirkpatrick served as Vice President and Chief Innovator, providing change leadership to evolve the organization’s mission and strategy as well as spearheading collaborations with a range of private foundations, institutions, and the world’s leading companies. Through her leadership, she raised more than $50 million, exponentially amplifying the reach and impact of the organization’s programs throughout the country. During her tenure at the NCFL, Ms. Kirkpatrick created the award-winning digital learning platform Wonderopolis®, which reached millions of children across the globe and which was recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the top 50 websites in the world in 2011. She was also featured on CBS Sunday Morning on how to advance literacy nationwide.

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